Caring For the Old Can Be Daunting

On November 28, 2011, in Uncategorized, by admin

Ed. Note:  This post come from a member of the family who has primary care responsibilities caring for and elderly mother. This is a personal account of the sheer investment of time required.  In the end, and depending upon the person you care for, the job can be daunting and thankless…..and it is difficult to get on with life overall.  The U.S. has less than stellar care for the elderly. Many of you could be faced with a similar fate.  This is written in stream of mind personal approach. It is more of a release than a an attempt to craft a story.  You will get the point by reading the account.

 

Cold Cold Wisconsin

There is no retirement here……

Friday, Nov 18th- 1:30pm  Go to mothers house to clean up the milk she spilled on her stove which involved taking the top off and all burners to clean. Sit with her until 2:30pm and watch her struggle to get out of her chair to go to the bathroom. She says she is having a hard time getting out of her chair. I ask her if we should go to Steinhoffels furniture to get her a lift chair which she replies, “I don’t need that”. I take her for a ride thru Pets and then head to Steinhoffels. We go in and try some lift chairs and she finds one she likes for $890.00. They said delivery was going to cost $85.00 so I decided to pick it up with Steve Last on Saturday.
Saturday, Nov 19th-  4:00 am Prison run to New Lisbon and I get back at about 12 noon. Steve picks me up in his pickup truck and head to Steinfoffels to pick up chair. We carry it up to mothers apt an set it up and take her old chair to Steve’s house.
Sunday, Nov 20th-Go to mothers house after church to sit with her and watch the Packer game. Sherri goes to Cooler to watch the game. Mother starts complaining about the lift chair not being comfortable. I just ignore her as she complains about a lot of things. I go home at 6pm.
Monday, Nov 21st – 1:00pm-Take mother to doctors for evaluation to have her throat stretched. She is there for 1 1/2 hours and then we have to go down to Xray to line up an upper GI. I get her home at 4pm and make here something to eat. I then leave at 5:30pm. At 7pm I receive a call from mother stating she does not want the lift chair and wants me to take it back. I try talking here in to keeping it but she did not want it. I am very mad at this point and call Steve to see if he can help return the chair and give back mothers old chair.
Tuesday, Nov 22nd- 4:00am-Mental hearing pick up in Oshkosh for court and then return subject. Transport ends at 5pm and I head over to Steve’s house. We pick up mothers old chair and bring it back and take the new lift chair back to Steinhoffels for a refund.
Wednesday, Nov 23rd- 9:30am-Take mother out to breakfast at BK. I drop her off and work at Carmax in the afternoon. 6:00pm get a call from mother wants me to come over because she is not feeling good. I tell her I am cleaning the house for Thanksgiving because we have 17 people coming over and talk to her for 1/2 hour on the phone and talked her out of me coming over. I invite her for Thanksgiving but she refuses because of to many people.
Thursday, Nov 24th-Thanksgiving from 11am-6pm. Send Ashley with a plate of food over to mothers. I am cleaning the pans and doing dishes when I get a call from mother at about 7pm asking if everyone left yet. I said yes, what do you need? She said she thinks the distilled water level is low in her oxygen unit and wants me to come over and check it. I spend another 1/2 hour on the phone telling her that Michelle (Hospice worker) will check it at 7:30 am when she comes over. I ask mother to look at the water level and she said it was 1/4 full but she wanted me to look at it. I did not go over to her apt.
Friday, Nov 25th  2:00pm Go to mothers apartment and watch game shows on TV until 5:30pm. I give her a hug good bye and go home and get in my sweat pants to relax for the night. At 7pm I get a call from mother telling me she had just called Hospice to order some spireva  spray as she only had 4 squirts left. She said I have to pick it up at the North side Walgreens in one hour because hospice will not deliver on Friday nights. I get dressed again and got to Walgreens and pick up her spray and then back to the apartment(I am very mad at this point).
Saturday, Nov 26th-4am-Prison trip to New Lisbon Get back about 1:30pm and Sherri and I decide to go to the Clubhouse to watch the Wisconsin game and order some food. Mother calls at 2:30pm and cannot find the Wisconsin game on TV. I am trying to coach her outside on how to go to the channels and try to find it. She says she can’t find it. Because the Clubhouse has direct TV, they did not know the channel. I called Steve Last to try and find the channel but he has direct TV. I then call mother back (pizza is now getting cold) and again tell her to try some more channels. After about 10 min she discovers the channel. I miss about 1 quarter of the game dealing with this. I then have a stiff drink.
Today, Sunday, Nov 27th-I call her at 8am to see how she is doing. She wants me to come over because she has not eaten and does not have an appetite. I tell her I will be over at 1pm with some food and will watch a football game with her. I said I will also get her some groceries. She then says I spend to much time in taverns referring to Sherri and I watching the Wisconsin game at the Clubhouse on Saturday. She said that I have a nice TV at home and shouldn’t have to go out and watch the games. I then told her I will see her at 1pm. But who knows…………I am ready to drop out……………….
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